ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Manager Joe Maddon openly hoped for a carryover effect from the Tampa Bay Rays' 18-inning victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Friday, in a game spiced with postseason implications.
Maddon seemed to get it in a 5-1 victory on Saturday at Tropicana Field, in a game played less than nine hours after the marathon ended. Or it simply could have been the dominating pitching of Alex Cobb.
Tampa Bay (85-69) fortified its hold on the top wild card spot in the American League, while the Orioles (81-73) slumped to 3 1/2 games out of the second wild card spot and appeared to be a team fading from postseason contention in the final eight games of the season.
Cobb (10-3) carried a no-hitter through 4 2/3 innings, and allowed only five hits and two walks. The free-swinging Orioles struck out 12 times against the right-hander.
Desmond Jennings gave the Rays a 3-0 lead in the fifth inning with his 14th home run of the season. Jose Molina and Yunel Escobar started the inning with walks off Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez (10-8).
Gonzalez yielded after six innings, having allowed three runs on two hits, with five costly walks. He struck out two.
Tampa Bay added two runs in the seventh to lead 5-0. Escobar's one-out triple started trouble for reliever Francisco Rodriguez and Jennings' three-base shot to the wall in left scored him.
Ben Zobrist's RBI single scored Jennings.
Cobb lost the shutout and a chance at a complete game in the ninth when left fielder David DeJesus botched Chris Davis' fly ball into a triple and Adam Jones singled him home.
NOTES: The game was played in a tidy 2 hours 51 minutes after the 6-hour, 54-minute affair on Friday. ... Desmond Jennings drove in four runs for the fourth time in his career. ... Eleven players from both teams that started in the 18-inning marathon on Friday started on Saturday, underscoring the importance of the four-game series to both clubs. A notable but understandable exception was Orioles C Matt Wieters, who caught all 18 innings on Friday night. ... The Rays recalled left-hander Jeff Beliveau for his fourth stint with the club. The reliever has yet to make an appearance. ... In the 5-4, 18-inning victory over the Orioles on Friday, there were 593 pitches thrown, 292 by the Orioles and 301 by the Rays. There were 144 combined plate appearances by the Orioles (71) and Rays (73). It was the first time in club history the Rays won a game longer than 14 innings, as they were previously 0-5 in games lasting 15 innings or longer. No home runs were hit in a game in which the American League leader, Chris Davis (51) batted six times. ... Friday's game was the in which the Rays lost a lead in the seventh inning or later this season, and only the fourth in which they recovered to win.
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